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Canon PowerShot TX1 Operation

Though there's a mode called Manual, the Canon TX1 has no full manual mode. Its exposure is either fully auto or program with some manual choices available. The TX1's dual nature means that the camera can be switched instantly between Still and Movie modes depending on which button your press: the Shutter or Record buttons, respectively. To operate the Canon TX1, you need to select your mode, press the power button, and deploy the swivel screen. Modes are selected via the Mode dial, and include Playback, Auto, Manual, and Scene. Menus are navigated via the Four-Way joystick, and selections are made by pressing in on the joystick. When in Record mode, pressing in on the joystick launches the Function menu for access to common functions like sub-Modes, EV compensation, White Balance, My Colors, Aspect ratio, Movie resolution, and Still Resolution. Though Canon did the best they could with the chosen shape, operating the controls with grace -- especially important in Movie mode -- is very difficult without practice. Actions like zooming and starting and stopping recording are awkward; and reaching for the shutter button is very cumbersome. We recommend that you get a big card and practice, practice, practice if the Canon TX1 is otherwise the best choice for your still and video work.

Record Mode Display. In Record mode, the Canon TX1's LCD shows either a window with almost no information, or a window with Mode, ISO, Flash, and Capture mode displayed. Across the bottom both the chosen video and still resolution are displayed, as well as the time and number of stills available on the card at those resolutions. Pressing the Display button merely switches between no info and full info. The Display Overlay option in the Menu allows you to set Grid Lines, a 3:2 guide, and both to display on the screen to aid in composing images where straight lines are important, and when you want to frame for 4x6 printing. The Canon TX1's Face Detect mode is the default, which displays a thin box around all faces it detects. If you turn the mode of via the Menu, the Canon TX1 defaults to a center AF point.

Playback Mode Display. Playback mode is selected by the Mode Dial on the Canon TX1. Pressing the Display button cycles through a Standard info display, which features the frame number, the displayed images place among all other images, the capture resolution, and date and time captured. Pressing the Display button brings up a more complete set of information, including Exposure mode, Metering mode, ISO, Shutter speed, Aperture, EV compensation, White balance, file size, and capture resolution, in addition to the above. A histogram is also displayed at the center. A second press of the display button clears all info, showing only the image. You can zoom out to a nine-thumbnail display, then to a Jump mode, where you can jump nine images at a time. You can also zoom in on the image and use the joystick to navigate around within the image. Pressing the joystick in switches to a "switch image" mode that allows you to stay at the same zoom level and location while switching between images; great for checking focus.

 

Canon PowerShot TX1 Modes and Menus

Auto Record Mode: Sets the Canon TX1 for automatic still image capture, with compression and image size options available from the Function menu. You can also use the joystick to turn the flash on or off, change the image mode to macro mode, turn on the self timer, and change the ISO to either High or Automatic.

Manual Record Mode: More of a Programmed Auto shooting mode than a Manual mode (you have no direct control of the shutter or aperture), this mode offers a wide range of exposure and shooting options through the Function menu.

Scene Mode: In Scene mode, the Function menu offers Portrait, Night Snapshot, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach, and Aquarium modes.

Movie Mode: Records movie clips with stereo sound in several modes. Movie modes include Standard (1,280 x 720, 640 x 480, or 320 x 240) and Fast Frame Rate (320 x 240 at 60 fps). You can record until the card is full if you are using a high-speed card. You can zoom while recording, as well as snap a full-resolution picture.

Playback Mode: This mode allows you to scroll through captured images and movies, write-protect images, view a nine-image index display, zoom into a captured image, delete unwanted images, rotate images, set up images for printing on DPOF compatible devices, and play and edit movies.

 

Function Menu: Activated by pressing the Function/Set Button when in Record mode. The following options are available (not all options are available in all modes):

 

Record Menu: Accessed by pressing the Menu button in any record mode (some options are not available in all modes), three menu tabs appear, one each for Record, Setup, and My Camera sub-menus. The main Record menu options are as follows:

 

Setup Menu:

 

My Camera Menu:

 

Playback Menu: Accessed by rotating the Mode Dial, the Playback menu also has subject tabs for the Print, Setup, and My Camera menus.

 

Print Menu: This menu is available in Playback mode, simply by pressing the Menu button and selecting the Print tab. The bottom line of the display shows how many images are selected for printing and the print method that is active.